‘Blue Zones’ author: 9 secrets to live a long life

‘Blue Zones’ author: 9 secrets to live a long life

The nine lessons:

  1. Move naturally. Don’t do marathons or pump iron; work around the house, garden, walk, cycle, walk when talking on the phone.
  2. Know your purpose. Have a reason for waking up in the morning.
  3. Kick back. Find ways to shed stress, whether it’s praying, napping or going to happy hour.
  4. Eat less. Stop eating when you are 80% full.
  5. Eat less meat. Beans are a cornerstone of most centenarians’ diets.
  6. Drink in moderation. Only the Seventh-day Adventists in California didn’t have one to two glasses a day.
  7. Have faith. Denomination doesn’t seem to matter, but attending faith-based services (4 times a month) does.
  8. Power of love. 
Put families first, including committing to a partner and keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby.
  9. Stay social. Build a social network that supports healthy behaviors.

The principles have been adopted by Healthways, a business dedicated to improving well-being, in its Blue Zones Project. Buettner works with them to encourage cities and businesses to draw up comprehensive plans (make walking paths in communities, point out tasty and healthy choices in grocery stores, work with restaurants to improve menus, encourage people to have best friends at work). A current project: a goal to make Iowa the healthiest state, which Gov. Terry Branstad, local business leaders and health care officials have endorsed.

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